Over 67.5 million Filipinos are set to cast their ballots on May 9 to decide who will be the country's next leaders for the next six years. This year's elections come under unique circumstances as it's happening amid a global pandemic.
To help you prepare for the upcoming polls, here's a list of do's and don'ts as well as some reminders to keep in mind on May 9 as you cast your vote.
What you need to know
Before election day comes, make sure to double-check your voting status and find your precinct for a seamless voting experience. You can check all of these through the Commission on Elections website.
Double-check your voting status and find your precinct via Comelec voter verifier website.
Voting precincts are set to open by 6 AM and close by 7 PM. Before leaving your house on Monday, make sure to secure your belongings or make sure someone will be there to guard your home.
What to wear
Because we're still in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, wearing face masks is still a must when going to polling precincts. You may also consider casting your vote early or during off-peak hours for a less crowded venue.
Comelec recommends voters to wear neutral colors come poll day and to avoid wearing accessories, masks, or clothes with the name of any candidate.
"Di po tayo magdidikta at hindi natin ipo-prohibit ang isang botante na nakasuot ng kulay ng isang kandidato... pero iwasan po natin magsuot ng mga damit na merong mukha ng kandidato," said commissioner George Garcia. "Tandaan po natin, bawal na po ang pangangampaniya sa Mayo 9."
Due to the dry season, it's also best to wear a shirt or top that's comfortable breathable.
What you need to bring
On May 9, it's best to come prepared when heading to the precinct. Make sure to keep the following in your bag:
- At least one valid government-issued ID (Voter's ID, Driver's License, Passport, UMID, Postal ID, etc.).
- Pen (for signing the voter's list)
- Sanitizer or alcohol spray
- Wipes to remove excess ink
- Your kodigo/the list of people you'll be voting for
When preparing your list of preferred candidates, write it down on paper or print it. Don't keep it on your phone. Here's a helpful website where you can create your kodigo—just make sure to print it!
What to do
When you're at the precinct, make sure to wear your face masks at all times and follow social distancing measures to keep you safe from the virus. Refrain from bringing kids to the polls, as well. Here are other important reminders:
- Use the Comelec-provided pen/marker while casting your vote. Do sanitize your hands before and after using it.
- Make sure to completely shade the oval beside the name of your desired candidate. Don't make any excess marks on it.
- After casting your vote, make sure to wait for your voting receipt to review it. Should there be any discrepancies, report them to the Board of Elections inspectors.
What NOT to do
To avoid any inconveniences, here are certain things that aren't allowed when you're at the precinct to remember.
- Don't accept ballots that have been tampered with. Make sure there are no tears, marks, or shades.
- Don't use your phone while voting. You are not allowed to take photos of your ballot or voting receipt as it's illegal.
- Don't snap selfies while inside the precinct. "Voting is not for selfies anyway," commissioner Garcia said.
- Don't overvote. You can undervote or abstain, just don't shade more than the number indicated for each position as it will invalidate your vote.
Most importantly, do vote wisely. The future of the Philippines rests in the voters' hands.